Gap between French sides and the rest gets wider; United fans’ Glazer gripes well-founded
The Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team
La Rochelle’s Dany Priso celebrates with Will Skelton after scoring a try during the European Champions Cup semi-final win over Leinster. Photo: Xavier Leoty/AFP via Getty Images
The scenes from Old Trafford on Saturday are sure to be replayed and remembered for a very long time. In the last few weeks - since the collapse of the Super League - we have seen fans mobilise and take their grievances to the owners of their clubs. In the case of Manchester United, those gripes with the Glazers are well founded and have been for 16 years, as David Conn writes this morning. However, the US family do not have any immediate plans to sell the club and hope to increase its value to $10bn over the next few years. Meanwhile, speaking about vast sums of money and football, Manchester City meet Paris Saint-Germain in the second leg of their Champions League semi-final this evening with City in touching distance of a first ever final. However, Pep Guardiola knows his side still have plenty of work to do, even if they may receive a boost in the potential absence of Kylian Mbappé.
Moving on to rugby and Gerry Thornley writes in his column this morning that the ever-widening gap between French sides and the rest of Europe’s elite is a worrying trend. On Sunday La Rochelle blasted past Leinster to set up an all-French final in the Champions Cup. Ronan O’Gara’s side have a budget which is at least double that of Leinster and yet it is still only mid-table in the Top 14. Meanwhile, Owen Doyle writes this morning that we saw a mixed bag of refereeing over the weekend but the tactic of two players “latching” and charging at a defensive line must be outlawed for safety reasons.